Video: Fernando Alonso Crashes McLaren IndyCar at Over 220 MPH on Day Two of Indy 500 Practice
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway bites—and when it does—it bites hard.
Superstar racing driver or not, no one is immune to the Indianapolis Motor Speedways' dangers, and Formula 1 champion and recent endurance racing superstar Fernando Alonso realized that Wednesday afternoon during day two of Indy 500 practice. The Spanish racer had just finished a lap at 224 miles per hour when he lost control of his McLaren Racing Chevy IndyCar and crashed at Turn 3 before bouncing into the infield wall and back onto the racing surface.
It's unclear at what speed Alonso was driving moments before he lost control and impacted the SAFER Barrier, but it's most likely very close to the 224.269-mph lap he had just clocked in the lap before. However, considering he was running in Graham Rahal's draft, it wouldn't be crazy to factor in a higher figure.
“It was pure understeer on the car, and even though I lifted the throttle on the entry to the corner, it was not enough and the wall was too close and came too quickly,” said Alonso. “Fortunately, it happened today. Sorry for the team, and we will come back stronger tomorrow.”
According to McLaren sporting director (and former 500 winner) Gil de Ferran, the team "had been fighting understeer all day long" but hadn't been able to find a cure. It remains to be seen whether McLaren will switch to its backup race car or leave that for another rainy day, which could very well happen with several days of practice and qualifying ahead of the 500 on Sunday, May 26. Regardless of the decision, the team expects to be ready for day three of Indy 500 practice on Thursday.
“We’re just going to hover around the car here and assess the situation and make a decision in the coming hours,” said de Ferran.